I found the remains of this statue near Moody, Alabama. Better known across America are the “muffler man” large, stiff-looking metal statues. But more interesting, to me at least, are the human depictions, remainders of long dead roadside restaurant chains. They are called “pioneer giants.” Usually it’s old “Big Boy” statues, but this particular one is from a chain I don’t remember: Wagons Ho.
“This is one of the rare sitting versions of the Pioneer Giants whose standing cousins are mostly found in North Carolina and Tennessee.
Back in the ’60s he lived at the Eastwood Mall in Birmingham, AL. He was seated on the covered wagon at a Wagon Ho restaurant, a short-lived fast food chain in the mid-1960s. He held a whip in one hand and reins in the other. After Wagon Ho shut down the business became Kelly’s Hamburgers and he continued at his post until Kelly’s closed down. Sometime after that he was moved to the country outside Moody, where he currently sits at the abandoned Cherry Construction company lot. He is missing his left hand.”